The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

Education at Rio Grande: How Full is Your Techniques Toolbox?

Apr 10, 2014
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Viqui Sanchez
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New to making jewelry? This coming June, Rio will offer the Jewelry-Maker's Techniques Toolbox, a 5-day hands-on learning extravaganza of jewelry techniques! Taught by designer, jewelry maker, and teacher Jim Dailing, this class will cover every basic technique jewelers need to stock their just-gettin'-started toolbox of skills. And if you're a teacher, looking to teach these essential skills to aspiring jewelers yourself, Jim will also offer tips on how to set up and organize a classroom and will share information on how to successfully teach the skills and techniques of making jewelry that you've acquired throughout your career.

Jewelry-Maker's Techniques Toolbox

The Jewelry-Maker's Techniques Toolbox will take place in Rio's Saul Bell Training Room this June--Join us!

Each day of the 5-day workshop, Jim will teach a new skill or two or three, and everything from sawing to filing to soldering to annealing to metalforming to polishing and finishing—even to casting—will be covered. Find out all about safety concerns, too, because making jewelry is no game for sissies. The projects you work on as you practice your new skills will be yours to keep. As a teacher, feel free to use these projects as you teach your own students going forward.

Here's a brief outline of what's in store for you each class day:

  • Day 1- Paperclip and fibula. Learn basic hand-eye coordination with snips and various pliers while working with wire. Students intuitively draw three-dimensionally with wire, creating functional, yet sculptural objects.
  • Day 2 - Cold connection pendant. Begin using the jeweler's saw as well as the flex shaft (with drills and burs), riveting hammers, files and sanding sticks. Toward the end of the day there will be a demonstration of subtractive wax model making and investing. The burnout will take place overnight in preparation for a casting demonstration on day 3.
  • Day 3 - First thing in the morning will be an introduction to setting up and working with various torches and fuel options. The rest of the day will be spent on casting. Several casting options will be demonstrated. We will start with drop casting in water, followed by broom casting and then finish up with a discussion of both vacuum and centrifugal casting. A demonstration of this will use the wax models that were invested on day 2.
  • Day 4 - Soldered ring. Fabricate a ring using silver soldering methods, including sweat soldering as well as solder pick use and stick soldering.Jim Dailing
  • Day 5 - Finishing processes. We will cover polishing options using both buffing machines and flex shafts, along with various polishing wheels, abrasive wheels, bristle brushes and more. Burnishing techniques will be demonstrated.

The Jewelry Maker's Techniques Toolbox takes place from June 9-13. Sign up now to reserve yourself a bench, and prepare to acquire a bunch of new techniques and hone the skills you already have. For five glorious days in the Saul Bell Training Room at Rio Grande, you'll enjoy building the foundation for a great career. Have a week of fun getting your hands dirty, while you create beautiful jewelry pieces. Take your new skills home and polish them as you fall in love with the magic of creating jewelry.

I loved this class when I took it and never had so much fun learning. When it's all over, let me know, how did you like it? What is the skill you're just naturally great at? Which one did you feel most proud of learning? I can't wait to hear what you thought!

Learn-with-Rio

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Creating & Coloring Jewelry with Reactive Metals and Anodizing

Apr 7, 2014
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anodizedbracelet

Anodizing is a simple and fun way to add color to your niobium work. What, you don’t work in niobium?? Why not? Niobium is hypoallergenic and naturally silver-gray with an extraordinary capacity to take on color using nothing more than a micro anodizer and a cup of electrolyte.

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Get in the Jewelry Game on Rio’s Facebook Fan Page

Apr 3, 2014
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Amy Cliser
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Every week or so, Rio Grande posts a call for entries on its Facebook fan page. These quick little contests call for jewelry and art objects that meet various parameters. We’ve asked for everything from filigree jewelry to cloisonné pieces. From PMC pieces to horse-themed jewelry. Take a look at today’s post to learn how you can “get in the jewelry game,” and have your craftsmanship admired by thousands!

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Education at Rio Grande: PMC and Intermediate Stone-Setting Classes Coming in May

Mar 26, 2014
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Amy Cliser
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mandala

Have you ever been disappointed to find that the end product of your jewelry design did not quite live up to what you had envisioned? Consider this: The more techniques you have at your disposal, the more satisfied you’ll be with your results. Rio Grande offers classes that can take your jewelry making to the next level. Read about three such classes coming up in May and then register before they fill up!

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Happy First Day of Spring! Fresh and Colorful Jewelry Packaging

Mar 20, 2014
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Bernadette Bennett
spring

Spring is here! Today, on the Studio, Bernadette Bennett shares her tips for dressing up your jewelry with fresh, colorful, spring-inspired packaging!

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Jewelry Design Options: Mixing COPPRclay and New WHITE COPPRclay

Mar 19, 2014
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Amy Cliser
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WCC1

Rio recently introduced new WHITE COPPRclay to its line of base metal clays, and every clay artist in the building could hardly wait to work with it. After giving him some time to experiment, we cornered Rio Grande metal clay artist and Tech Team member Thomas Flores and asked him what he’s discovered about this exciting new color of COPPRclay. Read about his experiences today at The Studio.

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What’s New? Jewelry News on Rio Grande’s Twitter Page

Mar 17, 2014
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Amy Cliser
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Did you know that every day of the week, Rio Grande’s Twitter page is abuzz with jewelry industry news and Rio Grande updates? Your life is busy, so we want to make it simple for you to find interesting and relevant information in ONE place. Our Twitter feed delivers up-to-date news on the jewelry world and on the hottest Rio Grande products.

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Business Savvy: Ten Steps to Facebook Success for Jewelers

Feb 27, 2014
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Nina Cooper
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Social media holds many opportunities for promoting your jewelry business, but where do you begin? One effective—and manageable—place to start is to create a business page on Facebook. Millions of people post, like, share, make buying decisions, and see your images and posts on Facebook. Here’s how to gather your own fan base on Facebook, from start to finish.

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Ashli’s Tumbler Series: Top-of-the-Line Jewelry Tumble-Finishing with Avalon

Feb 24, 2014
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Avalon1

In this fourth installment of Ashli’s Tumbler Series, she introduces us to Avalon Centrifugal tumblers. Avalon tumblers are easy to operate and provide a remarkably quick and consistent jewelry finish. They also eliminate media impingement (surface deformation or dimpling) that can be caused by certain media in other finishers. Check out this and ALL of Ashli’s tumbler posts to find the right tumbler for your needs!

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Business Know-How with Marlene Richey: Doing a Jewelry Trade Show—It’s Show Time!

Feb 20, 2014
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Marlene Richey
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In Marlene Richey’s first two posts on “Doing a Show,” she helped you apply, be accepted to, and prepare for your first jewelry trade show. In today’s post, she shares the nitty gritty on what you can expect at the show Itself—it’s show time!. Marlene has the experience and wisdom to break it down for you! Grab a notebook and get ready to take some notes and then knock some socks off at your first (or your next) big show!

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